Gender Attitudes

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Gender Attitudes. Outline. Cultural approaches Why are attitudes changing in Central Europe? Micro-level explanations of gender attitudes. The Modernization Explanation (Inglehart & Norris). Industrialization brings women into the labor market - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Gender Attitudes

  • OutlineCultural approachesWhy are attitudes changing in Central Europe?Micro-level explanations of gender attitudes

  • The Modernization Explanation (Inglehart & Norris)Industrialization brings women into the labor marketEducational opportunities rise for women and they begin to participate in governmentThe postindustrial phase brings a shift toward greater gender equality as women rise in management and gain political influenceTransition from survival to self-expression values (Maslows hierarchy of needs?)

  • The Failure of Modernization Theory to Explain this Shift in Central EuropeHigh female employed existed already under the communist regimeWomen had rather equal access to education already under communist rulePeople did not have to worry about survival except perhaps in Poland

  • But not completely wrongBut it is true that women did not yet rise in management or politicsThe industrial shift from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy with a large service sector was hindered by the communist regimesThis does not seem sufficient to explain the change

  • Cultural Differences?Pfau-Effinger: two countries can have similar policies, but peple will still use them differentlyIn some societies men are more likely to choose father leaves than in others because they have different conceptions of the role of the fatherDuncan: Gendered moral rationalities: what is morally rational is not always economically rational, for example, women might refuse daycare because it goes against their view of what is proper

  • Hakims Preference TheoryIndividualization process means we cannot group people of one country togetherIn modern society we have become more individualisticThere are different groups in every country

  • Hakims 3 GroupsCaring group: will want to stay at home regardless of policies (about 20% of the population)Career group: wants to have a career and is not interested in having children (about 20% of the population)Adaptive group: will choose work or career depending on incentives

  • Implications of Preference TheoryWe cannot achieve gender equality because men do not want to change roles, only womenIn Sweden, despite policies encouring men to stay at home, few do soOnly the adoptive group can be influenced by policiesThe three groups have competing interests, while men all have the same interests,Thus, men can organize better around their interests

  • CriticismsMen are stupid, but not as stupid as Hakim thinks, nor are they as homogeneous In Sweden men are beginning to take father leaves to a much greater extent (now they take over 20% of the total leave time and almost all fathers go on leave)Gender equality is also in the interests of many men. She just assumes men think the same, but does not provide evidenceSurveys show big differences among women in different countriesThe largest group is adoptive, which means that policies do in fact matter

  • Attitudes Changing in Central EuropeSlowly beginning to support more gender equality at the theoretical levelGreat support for more gender equality at the concrete daily levelFeminism becoming more acceptable

  • Theoretical level: Support for Equal Gender Roles

  • Concrete, Daily Level:

  • Womens organizationsIn Poland: 133 women's organizations50 consider themselves to be feminist (38%)93 support gender equality (70%)In CR: 49 organizations6 show some support for feminism (6%)18 show support for gender equality (37%)1995 in CR: none openly supported gender equality, but 2 of 31 came close

  • Newspaper Articles in the CRIn MF there were 15 articles in 2007 using the word feminismNot negative anymore, but there is a defensive tone, the need to show feminists are not radicalTypical to use the term, I am a feminist, but not a radical feminist.

  • Why this change?The EU gave legitimacy with gender mainstreamingCzechs have more experience living and studying in the WestThe development of domestic gender studiesCooperation with Western and international womens organizationsCan we call these openings of the political opportunity structure?Beliefs coming from communist legacy not as strong as other beliefs?

  • Microlevel AnalysisAgeChurchDegree of religiosityEducational LevelGender

  • AgeGenerational difference: younger people have more post-modern valuesTodays women have greater career opportunitiesYounger men are more interested in spending time with their children

  • Church and Degree of ReligiosityThe Catholic Church has traditionally supported the nuclear family and traditional rolesBut this traditional family only existed for a very short time in our historyIn agricultural society women worked, as did children and the family was extendedDegree of religiosity is important (not in Wilcox article) because in a country like Poland, almost everyone is Catholic, but not everyone is as religiousIn the USA evangelical pastors have been very conservativeIn Poland the degree of religiosity is not significant in explaining attitudes

  • Educational LevelThose with a higher education are more supportive of gender equalityWomen with higher education want equal chancesMen with higher education often chose partners who are higher educated and want to have careersEducational levels are increasing, as is support for gender equality

  • McDonalds incoherence theoryin the industrially advanced countries the conflict between norms supporting high levels of gender equity in individual-oriented social institutions (like education system and labor market) and sustained gender inequality in family-oriented social institutions (in caring and nurturing and household maintenance) has caused fertility rates to drop.

  • Gender differencesWomen obviously have a greater incentive to support equalityBut in America more men than women supported ERA

  • ConclusionsAttitudes toward gender equality are becoming more positive This is partially due to post-modernization and to the development of the international discourseAll micro factors point to an increase in support for gender equality (the new generation and higher educated are more positives as are the more secular)Life is becoming increasingly more difficult for men who want to oppress women and hate their children


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